LA PAZ, Aug 3.- Bolivian President Evo Morales called for the lifting of the US blockade imposed on Cuba and the return of the Guantanamo naval base illegally occupied.
The process being developed by Cuba and the US is a resounding triumph for the people and the Cuban Revolution. We hope that President Obama can lift the economic blockade and return the Guantanamo naval base, stressed Morales at a press conference in the Government Palace, reported Prensa Latina.
Morales talked of the resistance of the Cubans, never intimidated by such massive pressure, and went ahead to the delight of the Leftist peoples of the world.
Cuba, he added, has always had international support at the United Nations; only two or three countries were opposed to lifting the blockade.
The Bolivian President recalled that at the beginning of his administration some US diplomats and parliamentarians advised him not to have relations with Cuba, Venezuela or Iran, and now it is they who are working with these governments to restore their ties.
So, he said, I think that instead of us being behind the United States, it is they who are behind the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, he said.
Also on Monday, an editorial in The New York Times said it was time to change the measures applied against Cuba by different US administrations.
PL reports that the article of the Times editorial board, "Growing momentum to repeal embargo on Cuba" states that, for decades, presidents and lawmakers have tightened and sometimes loosened the blockade.
However, it argues, the laws and regulations promulgated in a failed attempt to change the course of history of Cubans through coercion remain largely frozen in time.
It emphasizes that with the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, a significant majority of Americans and the vast majority of Cubans want to repeal the blockade. It is time for Congress to help change the policy towards Cuba, emphasizes the publisher, and says that a growing number of lawmakers from both parties have taken promising steps in that direction in recent weeks.
In that sense, Tom Emmer, Republican of Minnesota, and Kathy Castor, D-Florida, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives last week to lift the blockade.
The Times notes that early last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would allow travel to Cuba for US citizens, and other relief to trade, and notes that, despite the executive actions of the Obama administration, Cuba faces the strictest US sanctions and is the only country in the world that US citizens are banned from traveling to as tourists.
This ban puts companies in the sector, such as Marriott International, at an unreasonable disadvantage, said Arne Sorenson, executive director of that firm, who recently visited the island and could see that US companies will be relegated in the Cuban market against other foreign companies.
PL adds that, in criticizing the negative position of the Cuban-American lawmakers, the Times calls on other parliamentarians to consider the dramatic change in American public opinion.
In that direction, it cites a Pew Research Centre survey published on July 21, which showed that 72 percent of Americans support the end of the blockade against Cuba, compared to 66 percent in January.
It also states that the Democrats support Obama's effort to normalize relations between the two countries by a wider margin than Republicans, although support among the latter has increased.
The survey found that 55 percent of conservative Republicans favour an end to the blockade, compared to 40 percent in January.
The research suggested that 34 percent of potential Latino voters favour a candidate who would continue the policy of Obama, while 14 percent said the opposite.
Moreover, among Cuban Americans, 40 percent said they would support a candidate who favours normalizing relations, while 26 percent argued against.Translated by ESTI